Another memorable commute (long; positive)
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  1. #1
    JFR
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    Another memorable commute (long; positive)

    Last night, riding home from work on the MUT (American River Bike Trail in Sacramento CA.), I was passing a large park that runs along the trail (just after the Gothe Park bridge, opposite river side as Gothe Park). As with most MUTs this time of year, it was busy last night. Ours has a nice 3-4 foot wide crushed granite jogging path along each side of the paved trail. From recent winds, the trail had a fair amount of sticks and debris from the trees.

    As I was riding up-river I saw ahead of me that a male jogger and two women with a (leashed) dog had stopped and were sorta blocking the trail. They appeared to be just talking. Another rider coming toward me had to ride around them (he didn't look too happy). As I approached, my first thought was to basically hold my pace, blaze by, and in passing tell them to "clear the trail please". I decided instead to slow and see if maybe something was up (what's the hurry anyway... I think I'm maturing beyond the "doing my commute like it's a TT" attitude).

    I slowed to walking speed as I reached them and asked "what's going on?". I was prepared for "uhhh, nothing, why?". To which I would, in my kindest voice, ask them to please clear the trail. Instead the jogger replied "there's a rattle snake there" and pointed to this little fella about a 10-12 inches long, a young one. He was stretched out, looking like the sticks around us, right on the jogging path. The jogger, apparently, almost ran right over him. Thank goodness he was paying attention.

    They didn't know what to do. Like me, none of them like snakes one single bit. They've always given me the hee-bee-jee-bees... especially the ones that can kill ya. Knowing how busy the trail and park are this time of year, I felt something had to be done. The snake was on the park side of the trail, and as we stood there he moved off the jogging path and into the grass and coiled. Dang. He was really hard to see in an inch of loose grass and sticks the same color as he. There was no way we could just leave him there, somebody would get bit.

    So now off my bike, I crossed to the opposite side of the trail where the landscaping was ala natural... several hundred yards of thick bush and trees (and further in a horse trail, and eventually the river). I found the longest stick I could, about 5 feet long. Not nearly as long as I was hoping to find, but it would have to do.

    A couple minutes had passed since I stopped and a few riders had ridden past us. One of whom told us to "clear the trail" (he didn't say please either, tsk tsk). I replied silently "dude, I'm trying to". I gently took my stick and oh so carefully inserted it under the snake. I was shocked that he did nothing. My heart was pounding harder now than before I had stopped. Slowly I lifted him up off the ground. Not wanting to take my eyes off the snake, I asked if there was anybody behind me and the jogger replied "no, you're clear". I crossed the trail (so now opposite the park) and paused for a moment admiring the snake at the end of my stick. Then, in one smooth action, lobbed the stick and snake deep into the bush. It couldn't have gone smoother, nor could I have hoped to get the snake any further into the bush than I did.

    Without conscious effort, both my arms lifted straight up as if I had just won a race. The jogger and women congratulated and thanked me, I in turn thanked them for stopping and causing me to stop in the first place. I mounted my trusty steed and pedaled on up the trail with amazingly fresh feeling legs.

    Have a good weekend guys.
    Last edited by JFR; 04-30-2004 at 11:28 AM. Reason: fixed typo

  2. #2
    Cipo's long lost cousin
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    Thanks

    Very MTBr Passion-istic in a Rev. Bubba sort of way! Sometimes it's nice to have a shot of that type of prose on the RBR Boards. Thanks JFR!

    Steve-O (Admittedly doesn't log onto MTBr as much as I used to since I got a road bike)
    "Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand." -- Jim Burlant

  3. #3

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    Crickey Stever Irwin You get karma points for the weekend. Helping people out is always nice.

    Kyle

  4. #4
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    good on 'ya

    nicely done. a lesser soul might have taken the snakes life. brilliantly written as well. thanks for sharing.

  5. #5
    JFR
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    Steve-O, IUbike, and blackhat...

    Thanks a lot for each of your replies.

    I'm glad you enjoyed my little good deed story and I really appreciate the compliments on how it was written.

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